New laws relating to Covid-19 are shortly to be approved. These directly impact on business and residential tenancies in England and Wales.
When the laws do come into force, some of the key points for landlords and tenants are:
A landlord cannot take back possession of the premises due to non-payment of rent during the period until 30 June 2020. However, the right to do so after that period remains and the rent continues to be due.
There are also provisions for proceedings to take back possession which are currently on-gong. The Court can still order that tenant give possession to the landlord, but the tenant will not need to do so until after 30 June 2020.
For assured shorthold tenancies, which are the most common form of tenancies for private renters, the notice period which must be given if you wish to evict a tenant before 30 September 2020 is three months. This is an addition of one month to the notice period of two months which is usually required.
There is no suggestion that notices which have already been served will be affected or on-going eviction proceedings halted.
Different rules apply for other types of residential tenancies.
The government has been criticised that the rules as set out above do not amount to the protection for tenants that it initially announced. It therefore seems likely that these new laws will be amended again in the near future.
More than ever it is important to seek advice if your tenant has missed rent payments and you are considering taking steps to remove a tenant, or to seek advice if your landlord is attempting to evict you from your property. This situation and the steps you need to take are likely to change further over the coming weeks and months.
We can help you with any questions you have over your let property or tenancy. Contact Beth Price on firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this fast-changing situation, we recommend you keep up to date with our latest Coronavirus insights and advice.
Updated as of 26 March 2020 at 11.50.